Although the research paper written by Horace Miner on the little known tribe of the Nacirema seems ancient, its significance in today’s research cannot be underrated. His presentation on the Nacirema gives us immense insight into the process of conducting fieldwork in the field of anthropology, as well as in the other fields of study. The culture of the Nacirema is not unusual, but has been described as being unique. Nacirema people tend to embark their entire energy towards the improvement of their bodies, which they believe has a direct solution to their mental problems.
In conducting a fieldwork study, it is vital to apply the classroom knowledge strictly in order to get desirable results. Interviews are core in conducting fieldwork; however, it is paramount to note that the interviews should be conducted after a prior notice and permission from the interviews. It is also noteworthy that interview’s privacy must be honored. The interviewer, in an effort to conduct a successful fieldwork, must act humbly, honestly, and with gratitude to the interviewees. It is also critical to note that, certain community aspects may not be meant for public presentation and prior permission must be sought before making such findings public. According to Miner, it is critical to establish a good rapport with the natives, in order to have access to their highly guarded secrets. Obviously, Miner was able to access the shrines and had the rituals explained to him. Thus, it is evident that establishing a good rapport with the natives is critical in enabling easy access to the required information.
It is apparent from Miner’s research that he gathered much information relating to the Nacirema tribe. This is critical in conducting a fieldwork, as the sole purpose of this study is to gather information. It is described in sections of his research that certain things were reported to him. This is an indication that a fieldwork study is not a single man study, but must comprise a group of dedicated individuals to gather information. It is vital for the group to be divided according to the areas or aspects being covered. Every member of the group should be assigned a particular topic. It is also vital while conducting a fieldwork to try to put oneself in the shoes of the interviewee. This helps one understand better on the topic he or she is studying or researching.
The difference between qualitative and quantitative research is clear. While quantitative research focuses more on the quantities, the qualitative research analyses variations in quality. The research by Miner is qualitative since its focus seeks to establish the riches of the Nacirema culture in comparison to other cultures. The research is not based on numeric, but the differences in the quality of culture between the Nacirema and the rest of the world’s tribes. It is evident that the final results of the research are described in a written form and photograph representations, which are a clear proof that the research was purely qualitative. The depth and richness of the findings in the research are only possible in a qualitative research. While quantitative research majorly focuses on samples to represent the whole, qualitative research goes deep and provides information on each aspect.